The researchers argue that the protrusions on the skull may have evolved to facilitate the adhesion of the muscles at the neck of the animal. The first skull of Paleoloxodon was found in India and studied by the geologist scots Hugh Falconer in the years '40 of XIX the century. "The head of the creature has a shape so grotesque that it seems like the caricature of an elephant's head with a wig from a judge," writes Falconer. Paleontologists have believed for a long time that the european species Paleoloxodon antiquus had a single crest very thin on the skull, while the other indian Paleoloxodon namadicus we had a very robust.
The discovery in Germany and Italy, of specimens that had skulls similar to the shape of the pachyderms in India has led experts to wonder about the possibility that the two variants were in fact a single species. "By examining the skulls of germans and italians, we have found a model consistent with, but going to the bottom of this issue antiquus / namadicus, it has become increasingly apparent that it was actually two distinct species," says Hanwen Zhang of the University of Bristol, which also explains the method used by scientists to determine the age of the animal at the moment of death: "Just as the modern elephants, the Paleoloxodon changed six sets of teeth in a lifetime. This means that from the analysis of tooth fossils we can determine with accuracy the age of every sample."
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